Library Journal Names Librarian Reserve Corps founder, co-leads 2021 Librarian(s) of the Year

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Elaine R. Hicks, Stacy Brody and Sara Loree exemplify the library profession’s exemplary pandemic response

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What makes our Librarians of the Year stand out, even in such company, is that they used their core librarianship information wrangling skills to literally help save lives.

Library Journal (LJ) has named Elaine R. Hicks, Stacy Brody, and Sara Loree, founder and co-leads of the Librarian Reserve Corps, as its 2021 Librarian(s) of the Year.

Hicks, Research, Education, and Public Health Librarian at Tulane University, New Orleans, rapidly created the Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC) in response to the World Health Organization’s need for timely, accurate, and searchable material about COVID-19. Brody, Reference and Instruction Librarian at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD; and Loree, Medical Librarian at St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, ID; quickly rose into leadership roles in the organization, helping hundreds of volunteers organize information on the pandemic for those who need it most. Since March, LRC has vetted, indexed, and helped disseminate tens of thousands of health resources about the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus for medical and health professionals, humanitarian organizations, researchers, and the public.

The Librarian of the Year award, sponsored by Baker & Taylor, honors librarians for outstanding achievement and accomplishments reflecting the loftiest service goals of the library profession. These include: free access to information for all; encouragement of reading; enhancement and expansion of library service to all areas and constituencies in the community; and strengthening the library role and position in the community. Hicks, Brody, and Loree will be profiled in LJ’s January issue in “Battling the Infodemic: LJ’s 2021 Librarians of the Year,” and will speak at LJ’s free Virtual Summit, Building the Next Normal, on February 23, addressing how librarians can fight pandemic misinformation and help their users make lifesaving choices.

“Hicks, Brody, Loree, and their team of librarian volunteers exemplify the impressive pandemic response we have seen from the whole library profession,” said Meredith Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief of Library Journal. “From constructing PPE on library Maker space 3-D printers and sewing machines, to getting families digitally connected to school and work by loaning devices and setting up Wi-Fi on bookmobiles and in library parking lots, to delivering story times by telephone and books by drone, library workers have gone above and beyond to make sure libraries remain a lifeline even through closed buildings and social distance. What makes our Librarians of the Year stand out, even in such company, is that they used their core librarianship information wrangling skills to literally help save lives.”

“This award…affirms to the library, community informatics, and information science communities that our skills are a vital part of emergency response,” said Hicks. “For academic libraries, it says VALUE to university schools and departments; for public libraries, it is an example of how a library can contribute in a local emergency/disaster response; and school librarians may see a role for them in the school’s preparedness plans.”

"We are proud to sponsor the Librarian of the Year award and commend these librarians for all they have done to further the research on COVID-19 in such unprecedented times," said Amandeep Kochar, EVP and GM of Baker & Taylor.

About Library Journal
Founded in 1876, Library Journal is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field. Over 75,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries read LJ. Library Journal reviews over 8,000 books, audiobooks, videos, databases, and websites annually, and provides coverage of technology, management, policy, and other professional concerns. For more information, visit http://www.libraryjournal.com. Library Journal is a publication of MSI Information Services, which also owns School Library Journal, The Horn Book, Junior Library Guild, and AKJ Education, Inc.

About Librarian Reserve Corps
The Librarian Reserve Corps (LRC) is an all-volunteer-led group founded in March 2020 providing critical librarian time, skills, and resources to the growing need for quality information in swift emergency response to the global pandemic. LRC has volunteers around the globe collaborating with health and library science professionals in these efforts. LRC volunteers provide a variety of expertise and skillsets critical to this work, from comprehensive literature searching to indexing to partnership building. To promote efficient and productive collaboration, LRC is a project-based volunteer network. More information on LRC can be found at librarianreservecorps.libguides.com/home.

About Baker & Taylor
Baker & Taylor, a business unit of education content and technology provider Follett Corporation, offers the most extensive selection of products and services for public and academic libraries, and is the only vendor that can truly offer a one-stop shopping experience for all formats, including print, movies and music, and digital downloadable ebooks and audio content. Visit Baker & Taylor’s online selection and acquisitions website, Title Source 360.

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Lisa A Wolfe
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